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Rave 450

Get to Know "RAVE 450"

Rave 450 Electric Helicopter Kit - ND-YR-K001

Introducing the new Rave 450 sized electric helicopter designed by Curtis Youngblood and Next-D Designs (A division of CJ Youngblood Enterprises). This revolutionary 450 size helicopter features an all metal head, high quality parts, carbon fiber U-frame design, and tube driven tail.

Curtis Youngblood, R/C helicopter pilot, mechanical engineer, and businessman. While competing in FAI contests, he has currently won 16 U.S. National titles, which is four times as many as any other pilot.

What makes the rave so special is really its pure versatility and quality! This heli is designed by the GODFATHER OF 3D Heli Flying & a great F3C flyer, Curtis Youngblood. His philosophy on design specifies that a heli must not only be nimble but precise in its movements in order to achieve true control and maneuverability over the heli!

The following 8 features are signature advantages and versatility of a RAVE Helicopter!

1. The RAVE can fit a beginner flyer with the RAVE being their first heli or an Advance flyer looking to show-off their stuff. The heli is built for durability and precision therefore a beginner can fly the heli with ease while an advance flyer can enjoy the pure responsiveness and stability while performing mind bending maneuvers.

2. A stock Rave Heli can be configured to fit any type of flying be it “SPORTS, PRECISION MINI F3C PRACTICE OR EXTREME 3D FANATICS! This single heli can do it all with just minimum upgrades like pinions or flybar or flybar paddles only and of course batteries!

3. The heli can fly with either 325mm rotor blades for nimble high RPM 3D flight configuration or 350mm rotor blades for a smooth and stable precision flight characteristics that rivals a 500mm or 600mm size heli’s.

4. Power configurations are also flexible! Utilizing the stock 3595KV Scorpion Motor 8 pole, a 3S battery and 14T pinion configuration for a fair and comfortable flight can be achieved. But if high RPM head speed is needed, all one needs to do is change the pinion to 12T and put on a 4S battery for high torque and high head speed radical maneuvers! No upgrades necessary except the battery!

5. The unit can also accommodate 6s battery configurations, but the motor and/or ESC needs to be changed.

6. Other upgrades that can drastically affect performance are: Radix flybar stubs and Radix carbon fiber tail blades as well as hardened main shaft and hardened flybar upgrades.

7. PRICING for replacement parts with the RAVE are competitively priced against the top of the line Align Parts!

8. SPECIAL UPGRADES IN THE FUTURE! – SURPRISES TO BE ANNOUNCED!

Packaging:
Kit came wonderfully packaged and organized every step has its own bag with hardware separated by step as well.

Materials:
The Rave 450 comes with a carbon fiber fuselage, tube driven tail, and an all metal head.
A+ on materials with very high quality machining and very nice screws and bearings for a 450 kit far surpassing the quality many other helis. All frame hardware is all hex heads and the hardware itself feels of very high quality.

Manual:
This is a work of art in itself. The manual is amazing and I see why now they are charging for replacements as a lot of work went into the manual. It’s full color with full pages and multiple angles of pics for each step that takes you from unpacking the model all the way to blade tracking and everything in between in great detail.

Note! there is a full color Addendum inserted into the manual and anyone that gets a Rave needs to read it. It features some corrections and a few suggested alternate way of doing things as well as some early kit bug fixes are all listed in the same exhausting detail as the rest of the manual.

Next-D Rave Model Specifications:
* Class: 450 (Stretched)
* Build: Kit
* Blade Size: 325-350mm
* Level: Beginner to Intermediate to Advanced
* Frame Material: Carbon Fiber
* Frame Type: Single Piece
* Servo to Swash Linkage: Direct
* Servo Size: Micro
* Rotor Grips: Metal
* Head Block: Metal
* Links: Ball
* Swash: Metal
* Swash Type: CCPM 120°
* Tail Drive System: Shaft Driven
* Tail Pitch Slider: 2 point
* Tail Blade Grips: Metal
* Tail Case: Metal
* Boom Struts: Carbon

Instructions — Score: 10

Having built many RC Helicopters its nice to have a clear and concise manual that is easy to read and the originating author is a native English speaker.

This is one of the best assembly manuals that I have seen, clear, concise, excellent cad drawings and even some actual photographs of the model. There is even an insert that gives additional build tips (we assume this insert was created after the manual was created in response to issues discovered once the model was released) that definitely corrected a build issue we encountered.

Next-D Rave 450 Instruction Manual (5.3 MiB, 64 hits)
Build — Score: 9

I have built about 20 model RC Helicopters in the 4 years that I have been in the RC Helicopter Hobby. This was NOT one of the easiest models I have put together but it was a close 3rd or 4th. I would say in the 450 class it was a close 2nd. Everything went together easily as described. There were a few anomalies with the manual that were pointed out clearly with an addendum inserted in the manual. I think the hardest part of the build was installing the cyclic servos (which are on most 450s and smaller class helis) but not impossible.

There was one issue with the tail server ball links that did bind a bit but we reamed the ball links very slightly to fix the binding before a test flight.

Our build consisted of the following components:
* 3S Thunder Power ExTreme v2 2250
* Scorpion -6 (included in kit)
* Scorpion 60A ESC
* JR 285MG Cyclic Servos
* JR 3500G Tail Servo
* NEW CY Mini-G Gyro
* Radix 325s (included in kit)
* Futaba 2.4ghz 7ch Fasst Receiver R617FS

Electronics placement was easy. We love the way that the gyro is mounted inside of the frames well protected from crash damage and almost dead center to the heli axis of rotation. The upside-down out runner motor sits atop and clears the battery and ESC easily.

Parts Quality/Fit — Score: 8

The parts quality and fit on a scale from 1 to 10…an 8. All of the carbon and aluminum parts are top notch with a small issue only with the ball links having flashing on them and some being hard to identify the inside. We had a ball link pop off of the mixing arm but it was due to a missing washer we omitted during the build to ensure it stays on. This was clearly outlined in the addendum to the manual. (Read ALL of the directions.)

The head is an overslung flybar which is supposed to give greater stability over an underslung flybar. The head was easy to assemble and high quality. Innovative flybar links as well. Of course we had to use the washers on the blades because of the Thunder Tiger using smaller grips.

The Radix 325 and 350 main blades are excellent quality just like their 600mm, 690mm, and 710mm brothers.

Fit was great. Everything went together with high tolerances with no need for cutting or dremeling. There was even a brace for the tail struts usually only included with larger 50-90 size kits which is a great touch!

The shaft driven tail system is state of the art and low maintenance. Most people don’t like tail driven 450s because of the cost and reliability but we had no problem with ours. When spooling down the helicopter it free spun forever showing the efficiency of the tail system and precision of the bearings in the kit.

Durability — Score: 8

Overall I must say this airframe is very, very stiff due to its one piece side frames. Only thing we have broken so far is the one piece landing gears which of which we broke doing autos. I would rather break the landing gear than the frames. Good thing is that the parts are very very inexpensive. Two sets of landing gear draining our wallet for $5.99.

The painted carbon fiber canopy is excellent and light. It is very easy to tear so you must be very careful with it when putting it on and off of the standoffs time-after-time.
Tun-ability — Score: 8

Our build consisted of the following components:

* 3S Thunder Power ExTreme v2 2250
* Scorpion -6 (included in kit)
* Scorpion 60A ESC
* JR 285MG Cyclic Servos
* JR 3500G Tail Servo
* NEW CY Mini-G Gyro
* Radix 325s (included in kit)
* Futaba 2.4ghz 7ch Fasst Receiver R617FS

This is a first class kit with versatility in mind. Included in the kit are two sets of pinions (12t and 13t) as well as two sets of paddles (68mm and 71mm). The longer paddles give you a more aggressive flying style for hardcore 3D and the 68mm are more for the sport fliers that want to fly big and stable.

The kit comes with the Scorpion -6 motor but many people have outfitted their models with the -8 and -10 models running 4s battery packs just as well. When using those larger packs you get more torque and longer run times along with less heat….all at the expense of weight and cost.

The included Blades are the Next-D 325s which seemed to be an exact duplicated of the Radix Blades with a different paint scheme but they are the SB style (lighter & poppier version) of the CYE line. We will put those on and rate those blades in a separate review. We outfitted Radix 350s as well on the bird and it flew 50% more stable, higher collective response along with better tracking in and out of transitions. Personally the 350s are the way to go on 3s, with 13t and Outrage 30c 2200 3s packs.

There was also recently released a hardened flybar. Seems to be the same length. The include flybar is a little softer than most but not bad.
Overall Performance — Score: 9

Over I must say I was very skeptical when it came to flying this 450. I myself have been a 90 flyer most of my time in the hobby and any 450 I have flow since then has been a nerve racking experience. I usually have a problem seeing the smaller helis and what they are doing. They are also very twitchy. This helicopter exhibited none of those “scare me away” characteristics and was as easy to fly as any 500 or 600 size helicopter even down to autorotation (only with 350 blades however unless you are Curtis). On 3s the power was sufficient for my intermediate 3D flying style and hotter setups should prove to be challenging to any advanced pilots as well.

Visibility of this helicopter is outstanding. It’s large canopy allowed you to fly this machine “big sky” style. A definite plus for older pilots with eyes that don’t work that great anymore.

One thing to note: this is a longer build like the Furion very very few pieces were pre-assembled. even the swash needs every ball link and set screw installed.

This kit will take at least 6 hours to build and that seemed to be moving at a pretty good speed.

The frame was consists of 2 pieces of carbon fiber with a plastic support becoming the lower gyro/electronics tray, as well as 2 aluminum motor mounts 1 being used as the motor mount the other being used as the battery tray platform. Yes you read that right, to keep the parts count down they are actually using some of the same pieces for multiple functions. This also gives you a built in spare of sorts.

The 2 main shaft supports are aluminum as well same part in both upper and lower support locations just flipped again to minimize parts count.

The landing gear is odd in design, only 1 piece but seems pretty sturdy. The Canopy uses it as a mounting point and a pivot point that’s what the screw covered by the fuel tubing hanging down is. It will be clipped to ideal size during one of the last steps in the build.

The main gear assembly as well required a metal machined hub that is much larger and lighter than its counterparts to be screwed in before the one Way bearing setup could be installed.
Not sure how the spare part for this assembly will come but that will add an extra 5 mins on a MG replacement. You can see that step on the photo with the manual open.

The head was pretty slow going and took me some time. All ball links had to be installed and locktited on every head piece, its a very unique design. One thing to note and this was highlighted in the manual that these ball links are not final yet they are not pre-sized at all and this kit requires a ball link tool and some time and patience sizing the links. They did note that this should be rectified soon with links being a little closer to sized with later runs of the kit.

Pros and Cons:
The Rave has an excellent manual. It was printed and in color. The Furion only had a CD.

The Rave was very simple to put together. The Furion took a while to put together. Both helis have excellent quality.

The canopy on the Rave looks better and bigger. It won’t be as durable as the Furion canopy though.

The larger main gear 177 of the Rave gives me a little more gearing options. The one way bearing setup of the Furion was very nice.

I like a belt drive a little better than a TT.

For me, that ability to run larger main blades makes all the difference. I like the 4S setups and the larger blades just provide a better way to use all the power. With both helis flying on 325s its hard to call. I like the rave a lot better on 350mm blades. The rave flies bigger and autos better than the Furion.

REVIEWS:

I have a Furion. I just got my Rave. First inspections show it is far superior in simplicity and in design over the Furion. Parts all look top notch and the Manual blows away that of the Furion imho. I am excited to see how this heli flies, first impressions of parts review and packaging in general are certainly top shelf. —OICU812 / rrProfessor / Location: Grande Prairie, Alberta, Canada

Did first flight with the Rave yesterday. Starting to order spare parts just in case and as they become available. Both helis are top notch compared to Align’s. They are another level but the Rave comes closer to the lower operating costs of the Align Trex 450. I got a bunch of comments about how the Rave looks like it has more presence in the air making it easier to see. Flying it, it sure is quite a bit easier to see.
— hootowl / Elite Veteran / Location: Garnet Valley, Pa.

I was skeptical about all the hype about how big the Rave flys being a 450 and all but it is true. I have never flow a 450 before but I can’t tell the difference in stability between the Rave and any of the 500’s. The rave just flys so smooth. — houstonrevo / Senior Heliman / Location: Houston, TX

The Rave is so much fun with 4s it will make your toe nails curl. Thank God its not as expensive as the Bugatti Veyron. I have seen Curtis take the Rave and fly it smooth and precise like FAI style just for the fun of it, I have seen Nick Maxwell fly the Rave like it had an Acme rocket strapped to its back. This machine is just amazing! KennyS / Veteran / Location: Marble Falls, Tx / 05-04-2009 10:40 PM

When I got my Rave and actually flew it, I sold everything I had and never even thought about them after that. I had the SE on 3s and a reg minititan even on 2s and the Rave is far beyond these helis. And I was a big MiniTitan supporter. The heli is THAT much better. It really is. I do though still like the MiniTitan far better than t-rex. It is a good heli. — Carbon Copter / Veteran / Location: USA / 05-04-2009 11:37 PM

At the 450 level, I fly the Rave on 4S. The ability to swing 350 blades coupled with 4S, large canopy and a really nice reliable design counters the feeling that sometimes the 450 class loses some of the big flying feel. The Rave really flys nice and big - its a cool design. — buster1 / Senior Heliman / Location: Manhattan, NY / 05-05-2009 01:55 AM

I saw a stretched Furion this last weekend it did fly very well but still didn’t have the auto capabilities that the Rave is capable of. The belt still is a limitation. Same on the G5. — USNAviationjay / Key Veteran / Location: Sugar Land Tx USA / 05-05-2009 01:58 AM

Just to through it out there. I have been flying my Rave on 3s with Thunder Power Blades. I am getting that 4s 350 feel without changing batteries and motor. The TP 325 Blades are slightly longer than the Radix 325’s and slightly shorter than the 350’s, almost halfway in between in fact. The TP blades are quite a bit lighter and still very stiff. My Rave is an absolute missile and still has that bigger bird feel and stability. I know some of you might say not using Radix blades is sacrilegious but it was an experiment that worked out well for me. I still of course use Radix 600’s on my 50. I highly recommend the Thunder Power blades on the Rave. — Philicopter / Senior Heliman / Location: Saint Anne (Kankakee) ,IL / 05-05-2009 08:14 PM